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life's adventures This is the story of my wanderings through Asia

Moving on to Greatness

THAILAND | Thursday, 16 December 2010 | Views [522]

We left Samui in a blur, nights out having fun, and with Rachel it’s always maximum fun! Sent off by her closest friends and some hilarious antics, we blearily made it to the ferry early morning on Sunday, watching sunrise as we cruised in the direction of the mainland. She, not so happy to be leaving her beloved, and me excited for Malaysia, but secretly just anticipating the last stop off before AOTEAROA!!

The bus ride and border crossing were the usual, I find myself so used to muddled transits and exhaustingly uncomfortable journeys that there seems little to comment on, except that it was a pleasure for me to have the company of my beautiful, wonderful friend Rachel. We laugh at silly things and share each snack and it is great to reminisce about our time together in China, escaping from our mouths shrieks of hilarity at the absurdity of the times we shared and memories we hold.

So in Malaysia we approached Penang over the bridge from the peninsular mainland. The city lights impressive to both of us, our eyes were glued to what was out the window. The bus slowed through cramped old streets of semi decayed looking European styled buildings with Chinese characters painted signs, food carts and people sprawling, lights glinting in the rain of the old city of George Town. Already I was itching to explore.

We wandered along to Jims Guesthouse. Jim who we had been on the bus to the border with, and who it turns out Rachel had been told about from a friend in Samui. Jim turns out to be a randy old Indian, mischievous eyes and welcoming smile, he emanates experience in the area and its industry, and we enjoy laughing at his scandalous stories and life here on Penang.

Our room is little but a bed, plastic bags taped to the ceiling above the bed to catch the leaks, the tropical rain was sporadic but we were wary. The bed extremely lumpy and quite ridiculous, we were nevertheless entertained by the digs, and decided it would do for us, cheap and easy.

Yesterday we went off to Monkey beach with Johnny, a western Australian who is great company and just on his way to Thailand. Through wet jungle we climbed, the vines and roots tripping us along the way, the sun peeking through angry clouds momentarily, we stop on a concrete bridge to catch our breaths, and in front of us a few cute black monkeys with white glasses are playing in the trees.

At the beach we find some treasure like shells, and wander along white sand and paddle in warm green water. The boat back took all of three minutes and we spot a sea eagle catching a nice sized fish to take back to its roost in the eaves of the tall jungle trees. Our mission finished off with a rush to beer and food in Chinatown, before bed drew us in and we crashed.

Today again we decided to head into the jungle with Johnny, convincing him to stay another day was too easy, so off we went again on the freezing cold bus, into the sweltering jungle pathways to walk among the monkeys in the treetops. The canopy walk was shut, so we lazed by the pool in the riverbed, local kids doing flips into the water and providing great entertainment.

The canopy walk was short, but we dawdled and soon saw a gang of monkeys moving through the trees, one here, then over there, another one, those two up that tree there, from here is a good shot (photo), hold still (the bridges were very swingy and wobbly), aww so cute, one even got onto the bridge and chased Johnny the rest of the way as another posed up close for some prime pictures.

On the bus back we al dozed a little, so our direction straight off the bus was the wrong one and we manage to get lost, found again with little effort. We made our exhausted way back to base before beers followed by Indian food in the loud and bustling Little India. As many told us, Penangs food is spectacular and our welcome and way here has been fulfilling. Next and last stop, Kuala Lumpur.



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